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Old 12th Nov 2019, 1:04 am   #1
SiriusHardware
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Default Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Difficult to know where to place this:-

Just tripped over this on iplayer -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...f-timex-dundee

...Mainly a social history with ex personnel reminiscing about work and troubled times there, but at about 22 minutes in there is a short section regarding Timex's involvement with (and building of) Sinclair computers and at the end of that segment a brief sight of some other piece of (audio?) equipment with an STK power amp slab hanging off it.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 8:26 am   #2
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Tick a tick a Timex, tra la la. The advert used to run just before Christmas each year during the early/mid 60's. Black and white 405 line of course.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 2:40 pm   #3
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Timex also made the CRT's for the Sinclair FTV1 / TV80.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 5:08 pm   #4
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

In the US, a version of the Sinclair ZX81 (with NTSC modulator) was sold as the Timex-Sinclair 1000. I believe these were initially made at the Timex factory in Dundee.

Unlike the ZX81 in the UK market, the TS1000 never made it big in the US - everyone there bought Radio Shack or Commodore.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 7:19 pm   #5
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Points of trivia:

The ZX81 / Timex 1000 wasn't a colour (or should I say color?) machine so 'NTSC' may not be the right terminology in this context. Certainly it would have had a modulator specifically aimed at the USA TV system - VHF perhaps?

The USA version also had 2K of RAM as standard rather than the 1K the base model sold with in its home territory. It had two switchable TV output channel frequencies. Presumably they didn't have a 'default' TV channel for low power RF TV devices, the way UHF channel 35 seemed to have been adopted here.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 9:11 pm   #6
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Would NTSC not cover the system, the Nation Television Standards Committee decided on the Mono system in 1941. Colour added to the standard in 1953.
Although when we mention NTSC we usually refer to colour it covers the monochrome system as well.
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Old 13th Nov 2019, 12:28 am   #7
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Points of trivia:

The ZX81 / Timex 1000 wasn't a colour (or should I say color?) machine so 'NTSC' may not be the right terminology in this context. Certainly it would have had a modulator specifically aimed at the USA TV system - VHF perhaps?

The USA version also had 2K of RAM as standard rather than the 1K the base model sold with in its home territory. It had two switchable TV output channel frequencies. Presumably they didn't have a 'default' TV channel for low power RF TV devices, the way UHF channel 35 seemed to have been adopted here.
Most US spec home computers / consoles with a modulator seemed to be switchable between channels 3 and 4.

I had thought that channel 36 was the European standard, though I've noticed sometimes I've had to adjust a preset slightly to fine tune in another device.
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Old 13th Nov 2019, 2:02 am   #8
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Could well have been 36, it was such a long time ago and at the time I used primitive 'knob tunable' (rather than preset) TV sets with my ZX81 so I didn't necessarily know exactly which UHF channel I was tuning into.

The oscillators in those Astec modulators were free running as well, so they tended to drift slowly off frequency as the machine warmed up.

I have two ZX81s here, one is my original one and I know Dundee didn't build that because I did, although it may well be that the kit was packaged there before it was dispatched to me.

The other machine came to me in a DkTronics full sized keyboard / enclosure and the PCB may very well have been Dundee-built. In the documentary Clive Sinclair said that 'Most' of their ZX81s were being built by Dundee, but, that being the case, who was building the remainder? (The end users, perhaps?).
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Old 13th Nov 2019, 2:38 pm   #9
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

I know the Spectrums were built by Thorn at Enfield, as was the final assembly of the TV80.

Thorn made a monitor version of the TX designed to work with the Spectrum & QL.

Link for monitor, scroll to bottom as I can't link pictures directly https://www.radios-tv.co.uk/ferguson-portables-82-86/
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Last edited by Richard_FM; 13th Nov 2019 at 2:59 pm. Reason: Link added
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Old 13th Nov 2019, 9:32 pm   #10
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Channel 36 was no doubt chosen because channels 35 to 38 inclusive were originally not used for broadcasting because that part of the UHF band was used by something to do with aviation. When those users moved elsewhere, those channels became available for Channel 5.
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Old 13th Nov 2019, 11:57 pm   #11
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

IIRC Channel 38 was reserved for radio telescopes & I don't think even Channel 5 used it.
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 1:22 am   #12
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

For some reason, radios-tv.co.uk redirects to Google. Is anyone else having this problem? Is the webmaster active in this thread or a forum member?
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 5:08 am   #13
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

The radios.tv.co.uk link in RichardFM's post works O.K. for me, Maaarten.
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Old 15th Nov 2019, 12:38 am   #14
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

I'm getting "access denied" for that entire website (and I have given them permission to run scripts and cookies).
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Old 15th Nov 2019, 12:47 am   #15
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

OK here too, W10/Firefox.
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Old 16th Nov 2019, 12:01 am   #16
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

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Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
For some reason, radios-tv.co.uk redirects to Google. Is anyone else having this problem? Is the webmaster active in this thread or a forum member?
According to what I have read on the site radios-tv.co.uk uses some rather strict IP geoblocking.

HTH
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Old 16th Nov 2019, 1:15 am   #17
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

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Originally Posted by m0cemdave View Post
I'm getting "access denied" for that entire website (and I have given them permission to run scripts and cookies).
I would clear the cache or try a different browser the UK should not have access problems.
The other problem is if you are using a VPN with the VPN server outside the UK.
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Old 17th Nov 2019, 7:58 pm   #18
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

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Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
Channel 36 was no doubt chosen because channels 35 to 38 inclusive were originally not used for broadcasting because that part of the UHF band was used by something to do with aviation. When those users moved elsewhere, those channels became available for Channel 5.
36 was used for ground RADAR at Manchester Airport. Used to play havoc with VHS machines out of the box.
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Old 17th Nov 2019, 8:05 pm   #19
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

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Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
In the documentary Clive Sinclair said that 'Most' of their ZX81s were being built by Dundee, but, that being the case, who was building the remainder? (The end users, perhaps?).
I got mine as a kit, you saved 10 that way. I don't know how long the option was offered, I imagine there were a lot of returns.

I managed to solder the thick-film resistor module in backwards, but managed to correct it.
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 11:12 am   #20
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Default Re: Rise and fall of Timex Dundee - BBC iplayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
In the US, a version of the Sinclair ZX81 (with NTSC modulator) was sold as the Timex-Sinclair 1000. I believe these were initially made at the Timex factory in Dundee.

Unlike the ZX81 in the UK market, the TS1000 never made it big in the US - everyone there bought Radio Shack or Commodore.
In a William Gibson novel, he observes that the ZX81 was shipped to the US without the ram packs, making it virtually unusable, so was discarded in favour of games consoles, which explains, he goes on, why America became a nation of games players, whilst Britain became computer programmers. Think the book title was Pattern Recognition.
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